There’s this passage of scripture in the book of 1 Kings where the prophet Elijah is just about at his wits end. He’s been going and going, and God says to him, Elijah, go up on the mountain – because I’m going to meet you there. And so, Elijah goes up on the mountain, and the scripture says there was this great earthquake that shook the mountain – but God was not in the earthquake. Then there was this tremendous wind – but God was not in the wind, then there was a fire – and God was not in the fire. But following the fire, God came, in the sound of sheer silence.
When was the last time you heard the sound of sheer silence, or anything close?
Which raises the question, when do you make room in your life to listen for God? Because it is easy for any of us to get to the point where God feels really distant, where we feel spiritually dry, where all of a sudden, we’ve got all these problems, or worries and we just wonder, “Where is God in all this?”
In the Gospels, Jesus sets a healthy pattern. He works hard. He meets a lot of needs. He touches a lot of people. But often we find he withdraws from the crowds, finds space and time alone to listen and to pray.
I suspect that most of us want to hear God’s voice. We want to have God’s healing and guidance at the center of our lives. But how often do we truly pause and listen?
In the Gospel of Mark, after Jesus sends the disciples out on a pretty serious mission, when they come back together for the first time, Jesus says to them, “Come away to a deserted place by yourselves and rest a while.”
Let’s pray: Loving God, so often we find ourselves racing through life and our souls are just starved. We find that we can go and go and go – but yet we miss so much of life that way. Forgive us for not slowing down to smell the flowers more often. Forgive us when we work as though the whole world depends on us and not on you. Help us to stop and breathe and notice your presence.
We want to know you, God. We want to live out of a deep experience of your grace and love. And so, we ask you to help us create time and space in our lives to listen for your still small voice. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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